Uber rival Ola to launch in NZ

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 18 September 2018, 8:46a.m.
Kiwis will soon have a new transport option available on their phones. Photo/Getty Images.
Kiwis will soon have a new transport option available on their phones. Photo/Getty Images.

A new ride-sharing app set to rival Uber and Zoomy has announced plans to enter the New Zealand market.

Founded in 2011, Ola claims to have already tallied over a billion rides through its service in India, Australia and the UK.

The launch in Auckland, Christchurch and Willington will follow the company's entry into Australia in February and the UK in August.

The company plans to start rolling the service out in the local market in the coming weeks.

To build the business in New Zealand, Ola has appointed Brian Dewil as the country manager for New Zealand.

Dewil previously founded local courier start-up UrbanSherpa and is also a co-founder of Horizon Robotics, which focuses on the application of robotic technology in the transport and delivery of goods.

Dewil said the entry of the company is about providing Kiwis with more choice.

"We see a real opportunity in New Zealand to provide a fair alternative in the rideshare space for both customers and drivers," Dewil said.

The company puts particular emphasis on its relationship with drivers, offering a lower per-ride commission rate than that which is offer by either Uber or Zoomy.

Ola is entering the market with a an introductory commission rate of 9 per cent - well below the 15 per cent charged by Zoomy and the 20-25 per cent charged by Uber.

In 2016, Uber provoked the ire of Auckland drivers by increasing its commission rates to 25 per cent for new drivers. During the same year, the company also dropped the cost of the service for riders, adding to the pressure on drivers.

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